In a rare Monday morning meeting of the Lafayette City-Parish Council, members voted unanimously to annex 271 acres in south Lafayette Parish to pull Les Vieux Chenes Golf Course, Fabacher Field and acreage for a future water-storage facility into the corporate bounds of Lafayette. In completing the annexation, the city of Lafayette did an end run, literally and figuratively, around the city of Broussard, which last week purchased a strip of land Lafayette had intended to annex to reach the golf course via the new Ambassador Caffery South extension; the private property included in Monday’s annexation ordinance is adjacent to the land Broussard purchased last week to block Lafayette from reaching the golf course.
Clearly concerned that Broussard would attempt to purchase any land Lafayette intended to annex to reach the course, the Durel administration kept its cards close to the vest, publishing the notice for Monday’s special meeting in The Sunday Advertiser and sending out electronic notice of the meeting to local media Sunday morning, thereby giving the city of Broussard virtually no time to intervene. Administration officials gave no indication of their alternate annexation plan last week when they announced that they were pulling the original ordinance due to Broussard’s land purchase.
The apparent subterfuge by the administration incensed Councilman William Theriot, whose district covers the areas under dispute. Theriot complained that he wasn’t privy to any meetings the Durel administration had with land owners in the area. “This is in my district,” Theriot said, “I was told there would be meetings — and that’s a good thing. ...I got a call from a constituent on this route [who asked], ‘William, why weren’t you in these meetings?’ I didn’t know meetings were taking place.” Theriot also complained that District 7 Councilman Don Bertrand, who doesn't represent the area, was present at a meeting with landowners.
City-Parish President Joey Durel countered that only one meeting took place at City Hall with two landowners and that Bertrand, who happened to be meeting with Chief Administrative Officer Dee Stanley at the time, was a sort of “accidental” attendee. But the clarification did little to allay Theriot’s aggravation. “I’m really concerned and disappointed in how this happened,” the District 9 representative said.
Only one blue card was submitted for public comment — from Cornell Bodenstiener, a south Lafayette resident who lives northeast of Les Vieux Chenes. “This thing was done in full darkness,” Bodensteiner said of the annexation. “This is not the way our government is supposed to work.” Bodenstiener used his full five minutes of comment time to give the Durel administration the business. “I’m certainly appalled that the representative of that area was not brought into the circle,” he added near the end, calling the timing on Lafayette’s notification of the meeting “a big pile of smelly, stinky, 3-day-old crawfish tales and heads.”
Monday’s action by the CPC doesn’t settle the annexation battles in south Lafayette Parish where the Ambassador extension runs through unincorporated land near the boundaries of Lafayette, Broussard and Youngsville; Broussard’s city council will consider another round of annexation at its meeting this week, and Youngsville is also working on obtaining land along the corridor, which promises to be a lucrative source of sales tax when it is developed in the coming years.
JUNE 17 If anyone ever wonders why Saints fans hate Atlanta with a capital H, here's a good indication. Radio "professionals" at an Atlanta station created an entire segment around making fun of former Saints player Steve Gleason, who is now paralyzed by ALS. Listen, nobody's ever accused DJs of being rocket scientists. But how could someone think it is amusing to pretend to ask a man with a degenerative, fatal disease if he will be alive next week? The DJs have been fired, and are now whining about how gutless their former bosses are. Wow.
JUNE 18 Here's the latest from the Advocate on the fatal hit-and-run accident allegedly involving the president of the Livingston Parish School Board. He's accused by police of hitting a 21-year-old man on a highway early Sunday and driving away. The man died at a hospital later. On Monday, police seized the president's truck and towed it away. But he's available for board meetings: apparently a $500 bond is sufficient for this type of thing over in St. Helena Parish.
JUNE 18 Former broadcast journalist Griffin Scott has posted this plea on his blog for financial assistance from his readers. Scott, who says he was fired after he wrote something fairly innocuous (for Facebook) on his wall, is suing a media giant for his job back. He's framed himself as David going after a bloated media giant, and he's probably not far off.
JUNE 18 Here's a fairly absurd column posted on DIG Magazine about the completely absurd practice of naming killer storms. Tornadoes don't have names. Blizzards don't have names. But hurricanes do, and there's a big process to bestow them, Jacques Cormery writes. He's right about the crazy assemblage of names -- this year, there's everything from Tanya to Humberto -- and his idea that we don't waste good names on killer storms is a good one.
JUNE 17 Political columnist John Maginnis has some advice for Louisiana Republicans: grow up. After the schism that occurred in this past session - fiscal hawks teaming up with Democrats to spank the Republican "majority" and hand Gov. Jindal his, er, aspirations for continued solon control -- they need to figure out how to get along with each other, Maginnis writes.
JUNE 17 Here's the Picayune's obit story for Dorothy 'Miss Dot' Domilise, the lady who made poboys at the uptown restaurant that bears her name. Miss Dot moved to New Orleans during World War II, where she met and married her husband Sam. When she passed away Friday she was 90, and had spent more than 60 of those years working at the restaurant on Annunciation Street.
JUNE 17 This editorial in the Advocate speaks in favor of the consent decrees that have federal judges overseeing police operations and the sheriff's parish prison in New Orleans. Mayor Landrieu and Sheriff Gusman can't get along, so outside forces, like the Inspector General and the judges, are needed to make sure things run right, the editorial opines.
JUNE 18 Here's a post from Manny Schewitz on Forward Progressives that is good for a chuckle. Manny had an epiphany back in November, and is sharing it with us today: he believes that Fox "News" is killing the GOP by pandering to right wing nuts. Now, don't get it twisted: Manny's not broke up about it. He says he enjoys watching the downward spiral with a shot of whiskey and "a schadenfreude chaser."
Frank’s Casing Crew, now doing business as Frank’s International, will make its final appearance on ABiz’s list of the Top 50 Privately Held Companies in Acadiana this year, and once again, it will likely be at the top with more than $1 billion in annual revenues. The 75-year-old company specializing in tubular fabrication and installation services to the oil and gas industry plans to go public this year.
The defeat, or rather highjacking of House Bill 420 in the final days of this year's Legislative Session, say Reps. Vincent Pierre and Terry Landry, is the result of the propaganda spread by one unidentified local media outlet and an unnamed former state Representative, but nothing to do with the original legislation's lack of checks, balances or details.
He’s a singer. A songwriter. A piano man. A family man. He’s even got his own Wikipedia entry. He’s David Egan. And he knows ancient secrets about the monolithic stones of Stonehenge that he’s not willing to share.